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While many people would likely agree that (even in the face of declining overall attendance) going to the movies is a great panacea for inclement weather, there are certain situations in which it is probably not a very good idea. Amid all of those potential scenarios, we would argue that a hurricane definitely qualifies. On that note, this weekend saw the massive storm, Hurricane Irma, plow through much of the southeastern portion of the United States, and as a result, it looks like Floridians generally didn't turn out to see IT as much as other Americans.
Because of Hurricane Irma's destructive path through Florida, the numbers for theater attendance on the peninsula were (understandably) pretty bleak. In the face of Florida citizens bracing for the storm and evacuating parts of the state, over 175 movie theaters closed down operation, thus preventing many screenings of IT from taking place. In fact, almost nobody in the entire state went to see the highly anticipated horror film, except for a few areas near the Georgia border -- which found themselves in less immediate danger at the start of the weekend. The fact that the regular NFL season has finally kicked into high gear also reportedly played a role in the dip, but Irma is arguably the more unexpected and noteworthy factor to point out in this case.
Overall, Florida is reportedly responsible for roughly 6% of national box office revenue, and these estimates from THR indicate that the Hurricane Irma's impact on IT's box office gross could add up to somewhere in the range of $4-5 million when all is said and done. That said, when we consider the film's unprecedented box office success (and couple that with IT's relatively small $35 million production budget), it does not look like anyone at Warner Bros. or New Line has any cause for concern at the moment. Hurricane or no hurricane, Andy Muschietti's horror adaptation made a ton of money this weekend, pulling in over $117 million.
Recent natural disasters like Irma have spurred a variety of reactions from Hollywood. Aside from the impact that Irma had on IT's opening box office numbers, many studios and celebrities have tried to do their part and contribute to relief efforts. These gestures have ranged from Ray Donovan star Liev Schreiber adopting dogs who made it through Hurricane Harvey to Kingsman: The Golden Circle completely cancelling its world premiere and donating the planned budget to assist in the aftermath and recovery. These hurricanes have very clearly impacted Hollywood from a business perspective, but it looks like that has not stopped industry insiders from trying to help in any way they can.
IT is now in theaters and, just to reiterate, is making a boatload of money in the process. Make sure to check out the adaptation of Stephen King's classic horror novel and take a look at our 2017 movie premiere guide for more up-to-date information on the rest of this year's major theatrical releases!